UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!



Force Projection

Codified in the National Security Strategy (NSS) of 1994 and further developed by the SECDEF, the US military strategy is built upon the central components of engagement and enlargement... "to enhance our security by maintaining a strong defense capability and promoting cooperative security measures; work to open foreign markets and spur global economic growth; and promote democracy abroad."

The Army represents a portion of the potential military power of the nation. That power translates directly to influence the international system. The US uses military power to compel an adversary to accede to US will. That potential power deters opponents from taking actions hostile to US interests. Peaceful employment of military forces reassures our allies, demonstrates our capabilities, promotes stability, and contributes to our ability to influence international outcomes.


A crisis is an incident or situation involving either an internal or external threat to the US, its territories, citizens, military forces, and possessions or vital interests. A crisis develops rapidly and creates a condition of such diplomatic, economic, or military importance that commitment of US forces and resources is contemplated to achieve national objectives.

During deliberate planning or CAP, commanders prescribe, in TPFDD format, who, what, when, and where forces will be deployed. Based on these initiatives and a unit's ability to accurately identify its movement requirements, USTRANSCOM then identifies how the unit will move to meet National Military Strategy objectives.

With the knowledge that extended force closure times may directly increase the domestic and coalition support risks for a particular crisis, commanders rigorously discipline their strategic lift requirements to that needed for the operation. During the deployment process. US forces are most vulnerable to significant casualties. Conversely, as closure times extend, the duration of a crisis extends, increasing the risk of casualties.

A crisis can occur in peacetime, conflict, and war. In peacetime, a crisis can be precipitated by a natural disaster or civil disturbance, resulting in a threat to civil authority. In war, the threat focus can be directed at the sovereignty of a nation. The extent to which the Army is prepared to respond to a crisis can significantly influence the eventual outcome.

Adaptive planning is required to ensure favorable outcomes. At the theater level, the CINC is responsible for developing a range of response options. These response options are not limited to the military instrument of national power but include economic, diplomatic, and informational alternatives. The requirement for interagency cooperation and multinational considerations is evident.

The Army Strategic Mobility Program

The Army Strategic Mobility Program (ASMP) was initiated to address the conclusions of the Mobility Requirement Study (MRS). The MRS concluded that the military can only increase its deployability through an expanded investment in sealift and airlift, pre-positioning, and transportation infrastructure. The ASMP Action Plan was published on 2 March 1993.

The Army develops the capability to provide a crisis-response force of up to corps size with the following mobility standards:

  • A light or airborne, brigade-sized force to be inserted into a theater by C+4, with the remainder of that division to close not later than C+12. This force, including its personnel and equipment and logistical support structure, would be transported largely by air.

  • An afloat heavy combat brigade with support APA to close into the theater and be ready to fight not later than C+15. The APA brigade force would be a 2x2 heavy brigade (two armored and two mechanized battalions, plus support). This force would be organized into force modules, tailoring them to meet the ClNC's needs.

  • By C+30 two heavy divisions (a mix of mechanized infantry, armor, or air assault forces, depending on the theater commander's priorities), to include the logistical support structure, would close in theater. The equipment for the heavy force would transit by sea.

  • The remaining force (two divisions and support) would close by C+75.

  • Air transport would be the preferred mode of travel for all contingency force personnel.

    For this program to be successful, three key mobility initiatives are critical. The first is the acquisition of fast sealift shipping. The second is the creation of the APA capability. The third is the infrastructure and procedures necessary to rapidly and efficiently deploy forces from their location through CONUS ports.

Deterrence is preferable to war. Effective deterrence can prevent escalation of a crisis. Deterrent action can resolve a crisis on favorable terms. When the opportunity exists, the use of a deterrent action, such as a show of force, can send a clear signal of US resolve to intervene should the threat of unfavorable crisis resolution continue.

Sometimes, deterrent actions do not prevent the continued escalation of a crisis. The CINC requires an Army capability to rapidly project combat-ready forces. The goal of these forces is to deter conflict or, should deterrence fail, to win quickly, decisively, and with minimum casualties. This Army requirement demands a deployable, lethal, versatile, expansible, and sustainable force.


A contingency is the employment of military forces in response to a crisis caused by natural disaster, terrorists, subversives, or required military operations. Due to the uncertainty of the situation, contingencies require rapid planning, response, and development of special procedures to ensure the safety and readiness of personnel, installations, and equipment. Like crises, contingency operations can occur in the environments of peacetime, conflict, and war.

A contingency may be a unique, stand-alone event in response to a natural disaster or a man-made event or change in the direction (branch) of an evolving campaign or major operation. Within a campaign or major operation, a branch is a contingency plan for the deviation of operations from the planned line. It is a result of chance or uncertain events that are identified as crisis triggers.

Senior army commanders assess their operations. During this assessment, they anticipate the probability of an occurrence of a particular contingency, and they develop plans (OPLAN or CONPLAN) to respond to that contingency. If a crisis occurs, the commander updates the OPLAN or CONPLAN and converts it into an OPORD for execution. The characteristics of a contingency operation include crisis situations, NCA involvement with US national interests at stake, and operations that require a rapid military response.


Army commanders must understand and address additional requirements that are unique to contingencies. Rapid deployment, crisis action, and time-sensitivity make contingency operations unique. Contingency operations are usually joint undertakings conducted within the framework of the UCP. Once forces are deployed, the execution of specific missions remains similar to normal military operations in the peacetime, conflict, or war environments. Successful contingency operations, as in all military operations, require detailed planning and aggressive, synchronized execution.


Some particularly important characteristics of this type of operation include--

  • Early response.

  • Rapid projection of military power.

  • Forcible-entry capability.

  • Forces tailored to the situation.

  • Unambiguous command relationships.

  • Thorough coordination among all forces (joint and multinational) and interagency organizations.

  • Timely, detailed intelligence.

  • Lethality for early entry forces--hold enemy forces at risk, protect the force, deter.

  • Strict OPSEC.

  • Sensitivity to the diplomatic implications of the military operation.

  • Quick resolution (win early with minimal casualties).

  • Major impact of national and international news coverage.

  • Effective instant communications with attendant interest by the NCA and senior service leadership in any operation.

  • Effective theater air and missile defenses to provide force protection and ensure the security of lodgment areas and protection of US and multinational forces and interests.

  • Under the national strategy, the requirement for possible redeployment with subsequent employment in another theater.


The Army has a major responsibility to execute a variety of contingency operations. This responsibility requires the commander and his staff to exercise operational art in applying joint and Army doctrine in a highly charged, time-sensitive environment. This ability is of particular importance to the ASCC in theater.

While the tactical combat operation may be somewhat limited in duration, scope, and intensity, the ASCC, in conjunction with the CINC and the other component commanders, sequences military operations that are not necessarily combat operations to achieve the desired end state. This sequencing includes close coordination with DOS to ensure that military operations support diplomatic objectives after completion of tactical combat operations.

The ASCC in theater has the following responsibilities relating to contingency operations:

  • Training and sustaining the force to conduct operations required by the CINC.

  • Installing, operating, and maintaining signal capabilities that are interoperable with joint, multinational, and/or interagency systems. To ensure interoperability, the ASCC may have to provide signal capabilities to the allies within the multinational force.

  • Exercising OPCON of assigned and attached forces and exercising operational direction of supporting forces.

  • Coordinating with other component commanders to ensure effective and efficient conduct of operations.

  • Monitoring the operational situation and passing information to the CJTF (JFC).

  • Planning and conducting operations according to JFC guidance and detailed plans.

  • Ensuring administrative and logistics support as required and as directed by the JFC.

  • Establishing liaison with the JFC and other joint organizations, multinational organizations, NGOs and PVOs, or government agencies.

  • Coordinating with supporting commanders to redeploy the force effectively to home stations or to another theater.

  • Planning and coordinating with supporting organizations to reconstitute effectively the force. This may require the use of operational project stocks.

  • Coordinating effective support of the media and use of PA assets.

  • Ensuring the units comply with federal, state, and local (to include host nation) environmental and pollution abatement requirements.


The NCA tasks a combatant commander with the responsibilities in a particular crisis as outlined in Chapter 2. Based upon the required tasks, the NCA, CJCS, and CINC choose an appropriate command structure. They may select any of the six COCOM options (discussed previously in Chapter 2) for the organization of forces. Having selected the command structure, they select a commander. In this chapter, the JTF option is used for illustrative purposes. The CINC and ASCC determine the composition of the ARFOR of the JTF. Several options exist for the Army structure in a JTF. The commander of the ARFOR OPCON to the JTF determines the best option based upon an assessment of the operational environment.

Single Army Headquarters to a Joint Task Force

The commander of ARFOR, in conjunction with the JFC, may organize them under a single Army headquarters responsible for the three Army tasks: joint, multinational, NGO and PVO, and interagency linkage; operations; and internal support. He selects this option when the mission is simple, limited ARFOR are involved, and/or the threat is relatively small. (See Figure 6-1). The three tasks include joint and multinational coordination. In this example, we have omitted the multinational coordination requirement because we assume that the JTF is composed of US forces.

Division as an ARFOR to a JTF

Precedent has been established designating a division as the ARFOR headquarters subordinate to a JTF. The 10th Mountain Division (L) was designated as the ARFOR HQ for Operation Restore Hope. The division worked for a JTF commanded by the commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF). While this is not a typical relationship, in the future it may very well be. US Army divisions may be required to perform operational-level missions during force-projection operations.

This single Army headquarters may be a corps headquarters or smaller echelon of command. While the corps and division, as organizations, may be able to accomplish these missions, they are not currently staffed or trained to assume these and other operational level missions. Therefore, both would require substantial additional training, personnel, and C² resources to be effective. Once the corps is designated as the ARFOR to a JTF, the corps commander is subordinated to the CJTF or the establishing headquarters and must look to him for guidance, strategic direction, and missions for the force. In turn, the CJTF exercises OPCON or TACON of assigned or attached forces. This includes the responsibility to train the joint force if the JTF was developed during a deliberate planning process to support existing OPLANs. Although the ARFOR of the JTF is responsible for operations and the direct support of his forces, the ASCC retains responsibility to provide overall support to all ARFOR, to include the forces in the JTF. As the ARFOR to the JTF, the corps and division staffs require training on--

  • JOPES.

  • Management of TPFDD.

  • Operational-level functions.

  • Theater movement control.

As the ARFOR, the corps or division may be tasked to assume specific operational-level Army responsibilities within its AO. Under such circumstances, the corps or division would not only be responsible for all Army units but could also be responsible for providing support to all services for--

  • Mortuary affairs.

  • Casualty operations.

  • Postal operations.

  • Finance.

  • Signal support.

  • Environmental protection and cleanup.

  • NBC decontamination.

  • Rear area protection.

  • Base security.

  • Transportation and distribution of Class I, III, V, and VIII supplies.

  • Real estate and contract support.

  • Theater topography support.

  • General engineering and real property maintenance activities (RPMA).

The corps/division would assume this support responsibility as the Army executive agency under agreements and memorandums of understanding previously established between services.

External augmentation of staff sections, to include equipment, is required to properly perform the ARFOR C² tasks. Augmentation is required for--

  • Operational planning and control.

  • Establishment of a JOPES cell.

  • Diplomatic military planning activities.

  • Signal support.

  • Intelligence support.

  • Liaison teams.

  • PA support.

  • Historical data collection of lessons learned.

The ARFOR's intelligence connection to theater and national assets must be deployed early into a theater. The deployable intelligence support element (DISE) accomplishes this. The DISE is a small, scalable, deployable element. It is the initial forward intelligence team of split-based operations. The DISE is tailored tactically from MI units according to the factors of METT-T, lift, and pre-positioned assets.

The mission of the DISE is to provide the deployed commander accurate, detailed, continuous, and timely intelligence to support the rapid entry of US forces across the range of military operations. Its communications processing and downlink assets are linked to a national and theater intelligence support base located in CONUS or outside the AO. The two types of tailorable DISE configurations are mini-DISE (manpack) and DISE (vehicular). Together these DISE configurations provide the commander a robust intelligence capability to support deploying forces. The DISE provides split-based communications, broadcast intelligence, and intelligence processing.

The 10th Mountain Division's (L) initial experience in planning Operation Restore Hope provides insight into the required augmentation packages and increased responsibilities when assigned the mission as ARFOR to a JTF. The 10th Mountain Division (L) expanded its division signal element into the ARFOR G6 (Communications) Section. The G6 controlled 10 different nondivisional signal units and over 300 added personnel during Operation Restore Hope. The G6 had staff responsibilities on a much greater scale than the normal division signal officer.

                                    After-Action Report Executive Summary
    US Army Forces, Somalia, 10th Mountain Division (L), May 1993 (Draft).

Additionally, the ARFOR must plan and operate effectively with the media. The impact of the media on the conduct of operations is substantially greater today than in any previous time. The capability of the news media to transmit ongoing operations activities to news networks globally cannot be discounted. This new technology requires the JFC/ARFOR to establish points of contact and procedures for releasing information regarding ongoing operations. The ARFOR's public affairs officer (PAO) should manage all media and public requests for information. The JFC/ARFOR must develop procedures and guidelines that provide releasable information to the media within security, accuracy, propriety, privacy, and safety considerations of the ongoing operation.

Two or More Army Forces to a Joint Task Force

The JFC may desire direct control of several separate Army ground operations. He establishes, with the advice of the ASCC in theater, two or more separate ARFOR headquarters that are directly subordinate to the JTF (see Figure 6-2). Each of these separate Army headquarters would maintain the three Army tasks of joint, multinational, and, perhaps, interagency coordination; operations; and internal support. The JFC might use this particular option when--

  • The operation is relatively simple.

  • Several large Army organizations are involved.

  • Two or more line s of operation exist.

  • The threat is located in two or more different geographic areas.

  • The situation allows the JFC to focus on several dispersed ground operations without diffusing his joint responsibilities.

Separate Support and Army Forces Headquarters

As the situation grows more complex, the JFC and the ASCC may organize ARFOR to resemble a miniature theater organization. In this organization, one headquarters would focus on operations, while a separate headquarters would focus on support responsibilities (see Figure 6-3). These circumstances align with the chain of command discussed in Chapter 2.

The performance of the three tasks is a constant requirement within the operational level environment. Under these circumstances, multiple commanders could share the tasks. The ASCC would retain traditional responsibilities as discussed previously. The responsibility for the conduct of operations at the operational-level could then be taken on by the ARFOR commander within the task force, assuming that the operation is of sufficient size and scope to require an operational and not solely tactical perspective. The requirement for joint, multinational, and, perhaps, interagency linkage would become a task that must be performed by both commanders.

This alignment of the responsibilities, though not expected to be a normal structuring, shows the flexibility of the design to meet a wide range of potential operational conditions. The Army might organize under this option when--

  • The operation is extremely complex.

  • More than one Army combat force headquarters exists.

  • The Army has a significant support responsibility to other services/multinational forces.

  • Two or more lines of support exist.

  • Additional theater support organizations make a forward support element too large to control effectively without dedicated command effort.

  • The JTF requires a significant support effort that exceeds normal corps support capabilities.

Army Commander as a Joint Force Functional Component Commander

The JFC may organize forces functionally under a single headquarters. As a norm, the service commander with the predominant number of forces is tasked to provide the controlling headquarters. The JFLCC may build his organization from an existing structure and augment it with joint staff billets for needed expertise. The Army force commander, as the functional component commander, would retain his responsibilities for joint, multinational, and interagency linkage operations and internal support of ARFOR. See Figure 6-4. In those cases where the Army force commander is not designated as the functional component commander, he still retains responsibility for internal support.

Army Commander as the Commander of a Joint Task Force

When the contingency is predominately a land operation, the CINC may designate an Army commander as the JFC. This JFC has considerable requirements placed upon him in addition to his three Army tasks of joint, multinational, and interagency coordination; operations; and support. Under these circumstances, the multinational and interagency coordination task could require a significant resource increase. He may consider delegating some of the authority for his Army tasks to subordinate commanders.

This JFC may build his joint organization from an existing Army organization--a corps headquarters or a numbered army. Today's corps will most likely find itself conducting force-projection operations as part of a tailored joint force and may be assigned the role of serving as a JTF headquarters. The unit can be designated as the JTF headquarters at any time during either the deliberate planning process or during CAP if the nature of the mission so warrants. The Army JFC may organize his subordinate Army units based upon the three options presented in Figures 6-1, 6-2, and 6-3.

Once the corps is designated as a JTF, the corps commander, as the CJTF, is subordinated to the combatant commander (or the establishing headquarters) and must look to him for guidance, strategic direction, and missions for the force. In turn, the CJTF exercises OPCON or TACON of assigned or attached forces. This includes the responsibility to train the joint force if the JTF was developed during a deliberate planning process to support existing OPLANs.

The CJTF must determine what augmentation requirements are needed for the task at hand and coordinate support through the establishing headquarters. Augmentation of the corps staff is essential in transitioning the corps to a JTF structure. Augmentation can be organized using a modular concept to address the various staff entities such as--

  • Command and staff (joint staff and special staff).

  • Headquarters support and sustainment (life support functions).

  • Signal support.

  • Security support for the JTF headquarters.

  • Augmentation in technical areas such as CA, PSYOP, and so on (Joint Pub 5-00.2).

Although augmentation must be tailored for the specific situation and is different for every mission, some augmentation is almost always required in---

  • Intelligence collection.

  • Joint planning procedures.

  • Logistics planning.

  • Signal support, especially Army Global Command and Control System (AGCCS) access.

  • Medical planning.

Augmentation in these areas assists in ensuring linkage between the JTF staff and the combatant command joint staff, especially concerning access to information and capabilities available at the combatant command level.

The corps cannot function simultaneously at both the tactical and operational levels. The corps, as a JTF, can conduct either tactical- or operational-level planning and missions. The mission, not the size of the force, determines the level at which the JTF functions. Once fully engaged at one level, the corps cannot be expected to assume the additional functions and command responsibilities that correspond to the other. Still, the corps commander must fully understand both tactical- and operational-level environments to ensure a supportive relationship exists between his plans and operations and those of subordinate and higher headquarters.

The commander thinks not only in terms of military resources but also considers those interagency, diplomatic, economic, and other resources that may be available and appropriate for the task at hand. The CJTF must understand the strategic and regional environments, to include US policies, treaty commitments, status of forces agreements (SOFA), coalition parties' interests, and so on. These influences affect campaign and operational planning and the establishment of ROE for the force.

The Army JFC must have the additional flexibility to assume the joint coordination role and may choose to augment organic support units with additional divisional, corps, or operational-level support organizations. As such, subordinate Army combat force commanders would concentrate on operations while the JFC conducts a large portion of the joint, multinational, and interagency coordination and operations support tasks (internal and external). See Figure 6-5.

The Army JFC could retain these coordination and support tasks when the operation is largely an Army ground operation, the other services play a support role to the Army, or the Army JFC has sufficient resources in his organization to accomplish these additional missions.

Establishing Authority

The authority who establishes the JTF designates the JFC, assigns the missions, prescribes the broad concept of operations, allocates the forces, and defines the command relationships. Generally, the establishing authority designates the JFC from within his own headquarters or from the preponderant service within the joint force. The establishing authority may direct formation of a joint staff from his own staff, or he may direct the JFC to form the JTF staff from his own resources and augment it as necessary from other service or component headquarters within the designated JTF.

Headquarters Functions

The Army JFC organizes the JTF headquarters to accomplish assigned missions. This headquarters may vary from a small group aboard a ship to a large staff and support personnel at a ground location (see Figure 6-6). The CJTF and staff--

  • Plan operations of the JTF in accordance with operational direction from the establishing authority.

  • Direct, control, and coordinate operations of assigned forces.

  • Coordinate planning activities of subordinate forces.

  • Under supervision of the joint staff, establish, when required, joint boards and agencies to plan, control, and coordinate the use of joint assets in specific functional areas, for example, the JTCB.

  • Coordinate with other joint and multinational forces, the UN, other government agencies not assigned, and NGOs and PVOs.

  • Coordinate with other national forces and/or foreign governments when required by the establishing authority.

  • Coordinate signal support.

Planning. During the deliberate planning process, the CINC may designate the ASCC as a JTF or ARFOR planning agent. The ASCC director of plans coordinates the planning effort. The Army staff planners develop JTF and ARFOR plans in each functional area, using Joint Pubs 5-00.1 and 5-00.2 as guides. Each Army staff planner coordinates as required with functional area counterparts in the joint community. Planners should understand and consider RSI during planning. When agencies outside the Army must contribute to the planning effort, the Army force's director of operations, or G3, requests support from the appropriate agency. This planning process develops the base OPLANs and CONPLANs modified for execution during contingencies.

During CAP, the director of plans directs the planning effort until he receives an execution order. After he receives the execution order, the G3 completes execution planning and conducts operations. The G3 (plans) begins future planning, normally focusing on the next major operation or phase. The JOPES publications (Joint Pub 5-03 series) provide planning policies, procedures, formats, and guidance for joint operations.

Operations and Training. When designated as the joint force headquarters, the ASCC deputy chief of staff for operations (DCSOPS) organizes the J3 section, receives augmentation from other services, establishes the JOC, and initiates CAP. The J3 assists in planning, coordinating, and executing JTF operations. The J3 normally organizes a battle staff with representatives of all the directorates within a JOC in order to provide consolidated oversight. When the joint staff does not have a J5 (plans), the J3 performs long-range or future planning. However, the J3 has a plans cell to conduct near-term planning of branches to the current operation. Besides the JOC, the J3 also may supervise--

  • A JTCB to coordinate targeting guidance and objectives and to develop the joint target list.

  • A joint rescue coordination center (JRCC), although the CJTF may task a subordinate service force commander to perform this function.

  • A joint information warfare staff composed of component representatives and representatives of the J2 and J6.

  • A joint meteorological forecasting unit (JMFU) to provide weather support.

As a matter of principle, training remains a national responsibility. To ensure the units are able to execute their assigned missions and be operationally ready, the leaders must know and understand the capabilities and limitations of the other nations' units. The enhanced mutual understanding of the capabilities and limitations is to minimize the differences and optimize effectiveness. To that end, all command levels must conduct training, which should include the JFC's ideas and desired outcomes. These concepts, specified by content (basic tasks), scope (condition), and objectives (standard), are an essential basis for effective training. Training should be coordinated and integrated where feasible. Coordination is required among respective participants to ensure mutual understanding and compliance. Although the J3 must monitor and evaluate the training status of all units, the actual evaluation of the training status and operational readiness of the respective units remains a national responsibility. The standards and criteria used for evaluation should be published and understood by all parties.

Special Operations. At the theater level a special operations theater support element (SOTSE) performs special operations staff functions at the Army service component command headquarters. At corps level, a special operations coordination element (SOCOORD) serves as a functional staff element of the G3. The SOCOORD is the mechanism by which a corps plans for and obtains SOF support. As such, it has staff responsibility for SF and ranger integration in each of the battle operating systems' functional areas and serves as a focal point for SF and ranger support to the corps staff.

The SOCOORD develops SOF target nominations and mission requirements for the corps to forward to the JFC. These developments result in mission taskings from the JTCB to the JFSOCC, who assigns missions to appropriate SOF units. Service distinctions of SOF are transparent. The nature of the requirement and the total force capability determines whether Army special operations forces (ARSOF) or another element of SOF is tasked to meet a given requirement.

Communications. When designated as the joint force headquarters, the ASCC's theater signal officer organizes a J6 staff, receives augmentation from other services, and establishes a joint communications control center (JCCC) as required. Joint Pub 6-0 discusses the responsibilities and functions of the J6. A key function among these responsibilities is network management. The JCCC exercises staff supervision over C4 control centers belonging to deployed components and subordinate commands. Joint Pub 6-05.1 describes the JCCC and its functions.

Alternate communications means are essential. During planning, the primary means is the Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS). (Once fielded, the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) replaces WWMCCS.) Communications networks include the four major networks of the DCS:

  • Defense Switched Network (DSN).

  • Secure Voice System (SVS).

  • Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN--the future defense message system).

  • Defense Data Network (DDN).

Initially, tactical satellites (TACSAT) may be the only means of secure communication with operational forces.

The Army JFC establishes alternate communication means as soon as possible. The JTF, ASCC, and ARFOR headquarters establish communications during Phase I of contingency operations. Organic signal organizations provide signal support and identify and forward shortfalls to the JCCC for resolution. The JCCC requests JCS-controlled contingency communications assets as required.

Intelligence. When tasked as a joint force headquarters, the ARFOR G2 organizes a JTF J2 section, incorporating other service augmentation and establishing a JIC from organic assets. The other services may augment the JIC as required. The JTF J2 is responsible for determining the requirements and direction of the intelligence effort to support the CJTF's objectives. He assists the CJTF in ensuring that intelligence objectives are correct, understood, prioritized, synchronized, and acted upon. The J2 is also responsible for employing joint intelligence resources, identifying and integrating additional intelligence resources such as the JIC, and applying national intelligence capabilities. He works with subordinate service G2s (S2s) to develop complementary intelligence operations that support the CJTF's requirements.

The JTF JIC is the primary J2 organization supporting the JFC and the ARFOR. The JIC facilitates efficient access to the entire DOD intelligence system. The composition and focus of each JIC varies according to the commander's needs, but each is capable of performing indications and warnings (I&W) and collecting, managing, and disseminating current intelligence. Through the JIC, ARFORs coordinate support from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and national, interagency, and multinational sources.

In addition to its other functions (I&W, situation development, target development, BDA, IPB, and force protection intelligence development), the JIC coordinates the acquisition of national intelligence between the JTF and the CINC's staff. The CINC posts special intelligence teams to the AOR. These teams are OPCON to the JFC and under staff supervision of the JTF J2. They may include DIA, the US Army Intelligence and Security Command, or the National Security Agency. Staff weather augmentation, as required, is under staff supervision of the JTF J2. The JTF J2, through the JIC, establishes and supervises required functional intelligence organizations that may include a--

  • Joint interrogation facility (JIF).

  • Joint captured materiel exploitation center (JCMEC).

  • Joint documents exploitation center (JDEC).

  • Joint imagery processing center (JIPC).

The JTF J2 requests a cryptologic support group (CSG) and an associated mobile cryptological support facility (MCSF) or equivalent SIGINT communications package from the CINC. The CSG works from within the JIC.

Successful IEW support during force-projection operations relies on continuous peacetime information collection and intelligence production. Peacetime IEW operations support contingency planning and develop baseline knowledge of threats and environments. These operations engage and challenge the intelligence battlefield operating system to respond effectively to commanders' contingency planning intelligence requirements. During peacetime operations, commanders closely examine MI force structures, operations, and training, which ultimately leads to a combat-ready IEW force capable of successfully supporting force-projection operations.

IEW operations planners must anticipate, identify, consider, and evaluate potential threats to the force as a whole throughout force-projection operations. For smooth transition to hostilities, intelligence staffs must coordinate collection and communications plans before the crisis occurs. MI units continually update their contingency plans to reflect the evolving situation, especially during crisis situations. Immediately before deployment, intelligence activities update or top off deploying forces with the most recent intelligence on the AO. MI units continuously update technical data bases and situation graphics.

Logistics. The J4 (logistics) plans, coordinates, and supervises supply, maintenance, transportation, general engineering, health services, and other related logistics activities. Each service component of the combatant command is responsible for the logistics support of its respective forces, except when the CJTF designates a single-service responsibility for a particular logistics function. The CJTF establishes logistics priorities for the force, assigns terrain and facilities for use as support bases, and designates and maintains LOCs.

The J4 supervises the activities of any logistics-related coordinating centers and boards that may be required. These may include--

  • A joint movement center (JMC) that coordinates strategic movement with USTRANSCOM and ensures effective use of transportation assets.

  • A subarea petroleum office (SAPO) formed around elements from the combatant command's joint petroleum office (JPO) to augment the JTF in managing petroleum-related logistics.

  • A joint facilities utilization board (JFUB) to manage real estate requirements (unless the JTF engineer is designated a special staff officer and assigned these duties).

  • A joint civil-military engineering board (JCMEB) to provide overall direction for civil-military construction efforts and development of a civil engineering support plan (again, the JTF engineer may manage this activity).

  • A joint medical regulating office (JMRO) to coordinate the movement of patients in and out of the assigned AOR.

  • A joint military blood program office (JMBPO) to coordinate the distribution of whole blood within the AOR.

  • A joint central graves registration office (JCGRO) to handle mortuary affairs (normally tasked to the ARFOR).

Logistical considerations permeate the planning effort. These considerations are essential conditions and objectives in each phase of a plan or operation. The proper type of service support units must deploy early for port opening, reception, staging, and onward movement of incoming units; to support initially arriving forces; and to prepare lodgment for rapid force buildup. The CINC must decide whether to establish an in-theater COMMZ. In most force-projection contingency operations such a capability is not present. A COMMZ is required if the operational environment assessment identifies a requirement to stockpile support and logistics in theater.

Logistics planners should anticipate circumstances that could threaten logistics support capabilities. The plan should provide for alternative COAs as external and internal circumstances threaten the support capability. As circumstances warrant, the Army and JFC plan for operational replenishment to protect or regenerate combat power that has been dissipated in the conduct of operations. See Joint Pub 4-0 and FM 100-16 for a detailed discussion of theater logistics doctrine.

Influencing Factors

Whatever the organizational option chosen, the Army commander must have the capability to fulfill the tasks assigned him by the Army and the JFC. If assigned both the joint coordination and external support tasks, in addition to his operations tasks, the ARFOR commander must coordinate directly with the required joint agencies and those Army logistics organizations that are part of the force-projection contingency operation.

The resources and capabilities of Army units correspond to their design and the missions they perform. Units designed for tactical operations do not have an operational capability as an inherent part of that tactical design. The three operational tasks are predicated upon a unit design that provides the capability to perform the operational functions described herein. Echelons at division level and below have a tactical design and no inherent capability to perform the operational-level functions discussed in Chapter 5.

At corps level, more flexibility exists and augmentation can be used to correct specific design shortcomings for conducting operations at the operational level. The ASCC and numbered army are designed specifically for operational-level operations. The corps, however, when engaged in tactical operations, cannot perform simultaneously at both the tactical and operational levels. Though the corps commander must maintain an operational perspective, full-scale tactical operations preclude the performance of operational functions. As ARFOR are designated to participate in force-projection contingency operations, the commander must consider that resource availability, media impact, US public will, the geopolitical structure/support, and the dynamics of the contingency environment may restrict his selection of optimal organizational structures. The commander selects lesser design options because of restraints, constraints, and the evolving nature of the operational environment.

Logistics units are particularly suitable for modular design so that entire units are not required to perform specified functions. Logistics units are also suitable for performing split-based operations, where only essential cells are deployed while the base organization performs its function in CONUS or from a forward-presence location elsewhere. Split-based operations are feasible only when communications and automation are assured.

As circumstances evolve, final design of the Army force must reflect the tactical and operational requirements. Where an operational requirement exists, the CJTF must allocate ARFOR from the appropriate echelon to perform those functions.


Contingency operations are undertaken in response to a crisis. That crisis can occur in isolation, as would be the expected case in MOOTW. But a crisis also can occur during the conduct of a major operation during hostilities. Viewing the contingency operation as a series of stages serves to sequence operations. When the contingency occurs during the conduct of a major operation, the stages assist in both resolving the crisis and in returning the contingency forces back into the ongoing operation as rapidly as possible.

The eight stages of a force projection--mobilization, predeployment activities, deployment, entry, decisive operations, postconflict/postcrisis operations, redeployment, and demobilization--provide the general structure for a contingency operation and can be adjusted to fit the needs of a particular contingency (FM 100-5). Execution of these stages may not be distinct. Predeployment activities and deployment, for example, might be so closely followed by forced entry and initial operations as to be indistinct. Operations might begin well before the entire force has closed. At minimum, commanders and staffs must consider the--

  • Coordination of sequencing and phasing of forces (combat, CS, and CSS).

  • Requirement and time frame to establish and build up the theater base.

  • Protection of forces, to include rear area operations (rear area rapid reaction force).

  • Preparation time for deployment, operational readiness--types of units and their readiness, and so forth.

  • CINC's critical items list in the TPFDD flow.

  • Requirement and level of in-theater stocks.

  • Host nation capability and availability.

Any particular contingency may not include all of the general stages. For example, a contingency operation may be the first phase of an evolving major operation. Redeployment of all forces may not begin until the end of the subsequent phases of the major operation, of which the contingency was a single phase.


Mobilization is the process that permits augmentation of the active force. The Army Mobilization and Operations Planning and Execution System (AMOPES) is the guide for planning and participating in the JOPES. The five levels of mobilization are selective mobilization, Presidential selected reserve call-up, partial mobilization, full mobilization, and total mobilization. These options need not be executed sequentially and are part of the graduated mobilization response. Units mobilize through five phases: planning, alert, home station, mobilization station, and port of embarkation. FM 100-17 discusses mobilization in detail.


This is a critical stage of a contingency force-projection operation for which units throughout the total force train. The ASCC recommends to the CINC the size and composition of the ARFOR required to support the mission, including forces that support assembly and deployment of the force. Additionally, the ASCC identifies the lift requirements to move the ARFOR and requirements for reception and onward movement upon arrival in the theater of operations. The ASCC's recommendation is based on the assessment of the operational environment. That assessment is revised to reflect the dynamics of the operational environment.

The JTF ARFOR commander maintains the Army's operational-level perspective within the JTF for the contingency. The attainment of strategic or operational objectives requires sequencing of Army military operations. In force-projection contingency operations, ARFOR commanders must keep this operational perspective, even if they conduct separate tactical operations directly for the JFC. The overall attainment of the strategic objective may require military operations not limited to combat missions. These sequenced military operations require an operational-level perspective over time.

The JFC's primary Army advisor for this perspective is the ARFOR commander assigned to the JTF. This commander provides operational-level perspective to the JFC during planning, deployment, employment, and redeployment. During planning, the ARFOR commander must receive a clear definition of the desired end state from the JFC. Because of the inherent dynamics of the contingency environment, considerable effort may be involved in gaining clarity on the military end state. The military end state may include those diplomatic considerations that inevitably accompany contingencies over which the Army commander may have little direct control.

The CINC assigns the ways and means for mission accomplishment. His ASCC advises him on Army requirements to employ effective and efficient Army means. The NCA and the CINC assign the ways, in the form of constraints and restrictions, to the ARFOR commander. For example, the CINC may direct the seizure of objectives with psychological, rather than military, significance and may establish specific ROE. Once the ARFOR commander clearly understands the ends, ways, and means for the contingency, he begins the planning process in earnest or adjusts exiting plans.

Based on the CINC's concept of operations, the ASCC reviews all existing OPLANs and CONPLANs for suitability. He updates and adjusts these plans to develop an OPORD. Existing CONPLANs and lessons learned from the joint and Army repositories (Joint Universal Lessons Learned System [JULLS] and the Center for Army Lessons Learned [CALL]) should be the starting point when conducting crisis planning. If no suitable plan exists, the Army commander OPCON to the JTF develops OPORDs, using the time-sensitive or CAP procedures outlined in Joint Pub 5-03.1.

The ARFOR commander develops his contingency OPORDs based on the maximum capability the enemy can generate. In a crisis caused by a natural disaster, the enemy becomes the threat to human life and safety and the potential for damage to the environment. The ARFOR commander conducts parallel, but more detailed, execution planning with the JFC and normally issues a supporting Army OPORD with detailed instructions to subordinates. The concurrent planning occurs at all Army echelons involved in the contingency.

The ARFOR commander issues immediate warning orders to all subordinate units. Because of the time-sensitive nature of contingency operations and the crisis-action system, information must get to the appropriate unit as rapidly as it becomes available. Subordinate units must recognize that they may not receive complete OPORDs from their higher headquarters until late. Subordinate OPLANs based upon earlier warning orders must be flexible enough to adapt to the evolving contingency operations. Therefore, horizontal and vertical coordination must occur between staffs so that plans can be made concurrently. Liberal use of warning orders should be used so subordinate commanders can begin work.

Certain planning considerations are critical during this stage. Anticipatory logistics requires appropriate commanders to project support requirements and synchronize support actions with tactical organizations. This action is necessary to ensure combat power can be sustained or reconstituted as required. The ARFOR commander identifies potential consequences to ensure that the JFC makes knowledgeable decisions on lift prioritization. Finally, as with all operations, OPSEC must not be sacrificed, despite the urgency of the crisis situation.

An important task facing the ARFOR commander is the organization of his staff and the Army augmentation of the JFC's staff to support the planning and execution of the contingency operation. The makeup of the JTF staff should reflect the composition of the operational forces. If the JFC's mission is largely an Army mission, Army personnel should predominate the staff. The Army contribution to the JTF may include light, armored, or special operations forces.

The Army augmentation package given to the JTF staff should reflect the proportional balance of the JTF force package. If the joint staff is not sufficiently and appropriately augmented, the ARFOR commander must spend more effort advising the JFC on the capabilities and limitations of the Army force. Therefore, ARFOR likely to conduct contingency operations should have designated augmentation cells (discussed earlier in this chapter) that automatically push forward to support JTFs. See Figure 6-7.

Considerations During
Predeployment Activities

The senior ARFOR commander tailors the force based upon the mission assigned and the resource available. He is responsible for informing the JFC when allocated means do not ensure the probability of success. If he is the land component commander, he also plans for the integration of all land forces allocated to the operation.

The Army service component command headquarters ensures that it integrates effectively with the joint communications plan. The ASCC ensures he has access to the DCS. Some links require specific heardware when the joint force headquarters and core staff are from another service. This communications link must be redundant and apply in all of the functional areas, not just in the maneuver control function.

The Army service component command headquarters must coordinate the use of space assets to support the operation. Some considerations include optimizing communications and global positioning systems and receiving current weather satellite data. Additionally, the headquarters must arrange for requirements for rapid response satellite image maps and terrain analysis products.

Corps and above intelligence organizations are critical to Army intelligence preparation. They provide the interface among tactical forces and the joint and national agencies that provide supporting intelligence. These Army organizations must link their intelligence networks into all sources. The ARFOR commander ensures he receives an intelligence push package and liaison officers for intelligence products.

Army commanders ensure adequate LNO representation at higher, lower, and adjacent organizations. These LNOs must be of appropriate rank and experience to be effective. LNOs during contingency operations are particularly important because each contingency is likely to be unique, and the organizational requirements are normally ad hoc. This type of situation demands rapid communication channels between different units and other service elements that have not had the opporunity to train extensively together. LNOs assist in rapidly establish these important communication channels.

FIGURE 6-7. STAGE II (Predeployment) Considerations


The initial response force is the product of a combination of many factors. It reflects the mission of the JTF and the Army's corresponding tasks, along with the lift that has been made available to conduct the necessary strategic and operational movement.

Other factors include the capabilities of the host nation to support ARFOR on either a long-or short-term basis. Finally, the contributions of alliance or coalition forces shape the initial response by ARFOR. The supported CINC's decision on the composition of this force requires the ASCC to project future events. The Army force commander seeks to maintain versatility, a flexible force mix, and the ability to generate superior combat power sustainability, and the necessary internal lift capability.


The execution stage--entry operations--encompasses the occupation of the initial lodgments in the operations area. In this stage the capability for force is generated. Initially, that capability does not go far beyond self-sustainment. The ARFOR commander sequences his resources into the operations area to create the conditions for decisive operations. This sequencing includes joint mobility of operational forces that seek to gain a positional advantage early.

Two alternative approaches exist to establishing positional advantage. The first is a long-term approach that focuses on building the force capability over time. Once sufficient capability is available, the ARFOR commander tries to resolve the cause of the crisis. In the second approach, rapid crisis resolution is sought through the positioning of initially deploying forces into the critical location. By rapidly positioning forces with the requisite capability, the crisis may be resolved earlier. However, the Army might have to conduct forcible entry operations. This approach has a high payoff. Risk is the price for such potential.

The ARFOR commander coordinates the movement of intertheater or intratheater forces into the operations area. Opposed-entry combat activities may take place during this stage. The ARFOR commander deploys operations and support forces into the contingency area and establishes C² to provide initial lodgments. While the focus during this phase is the deployment of forces, operations may be required to secure simultaneous entry zones that ensure force protection into the contingency area.

An effective air defense should be established in the lodgment area as rapidly as possible. Air defense is critical for the protection of the lodgment area. TBM, CM, ASM, and UAV threats could seriously disrupt or compromise the security of lodgment operations. Based on the threat and availability of joint and/or multinational ADA systems, early entry forces tailor the ADA force packages that are deployed initially. An ADA task force is deployed to protect selected enclaves. This stage ends with the establishment of a secure airhead and/or beachhead. See Figure 6-8.

Considerations During
Entry Operations

The ARFOR commander coordinates all joint mobility assets required to deploy his forces and materiel. He requests support in a mission format to the JFC. He does not specify numbers and types of transportation.

This mission-type requirement to the USTRANSCOM avoids confusion and allows for a greater number of options for deployment. Specific requirements may be necessary and should be articulated by the ARFOR commander to the USTRANSCOM in terms of numbers of personnel, types of equipment, and required time schedule. The ASCC's staff works closely with the USTRANSCOM to ensure that the lift provided meets the specifications of the Army force.

The ARFOR commander, in conjunction with the JFC, tailors the entry force to accomplish specific operations in preparation for follow-on forces during this phase. This force may or may not participate in the following sages of the contingency. The entry force C² structure evolves as the operation progresses. A need exists early on for an operational-level C² element. This headquarters unburdens tactical-level leaders and permits them to focus on the tactical-level operations for which they were designed.

FIGURE 6-8. STAGE IV (Entry Operations) Considerations


A rapid buildup of force capability is the focus of this stage. This buildup includes establishing a forward-operating base, closing the remainder of the force, expanding the lodgment, linking up with other joint forces, and establishing multinational and interagency linkages. Decisive combat power is positioned to resolve the crisis rapidly by synchronizing and simultaneously engaging enemy forces throughout the depth and space of the operational area.

Force protection becomes increasingly important during the operations stage. Reconnaissance assets are focused to provide the ARFOR commander with an accurate picture of the enemy force actions and intentions. OPSEC ensures the protection of the force in part by preventing the enemy reconnaissance from gaining similar information on friendly forces. Deception operations complement OPSEC by painting a false picture of the friendly force's intentions. Effective air defense and TMD remain a priority during this phase of the operation.

In MOOTW, decisive operations contain similarities and differences from the principles that guide operations in war. The principles of objective, unity of effort, legitimacy, perseverance, restraint, and security guide actions in MOOTW. Figure 6-9 describes areas for consideration during conduct of operations.

Considerations During

The ARFOR commander adjusts his plan based upon the situation on the ground. Invariably, portions of the plan are based upon invalid assumptions or inaccurate information. No plan survives intact,but the flexible one is adjusted quickly to allow for changes. Adjustments to the plan affect other portions of the operation. This is particularly apparent when adjusting the flow of personnel and equipment into the area. As an illustration, changing the lift priorities may have extensive impact on employment operations during a subsequent stage.

The ARFOR commander receives follow-on forces during this stage. He ensures adequate airports and seaports of debarkation are available and that the force is equipped as required. He marshals and stages the follow-on forces in preparation for decisive operations.

The ARFOR commander determines if resources are adequate to accomplish the mission. He recognizes the dynamics of the operational environment and adjusts plans and operations to reflect those changes. He makes specific recommendations to the JFC within the constraints and restrictions of the operation.

The ARFOR commander receives administrative and logistics support from his service chain or from organic assets. The Army commander tasked with the support responsibility stages support resources forward to support the operation. This support includes directing the efforts of Army organizations temporarily tailored for the specific operation. The ASCC, in conjunction with the ARFOR commander, develops intermediate staging basing (ISB), if required. ISB may be located offshore afloat or in a third country close to the contingency area.

The CINC establishes movement control for the Army assets to the AO. He sets the priority for ARFOR entry and supervises the operational movement. He works closely with the JFC to enforce lift priorities. The supervision of lift into the contingency area becomes a critical task for several reasons: lift into the contingency area may be constrained, planned lift assets may be diverted, or the lodgment area may have limited reception capability. The sequencing of resources into the AOR becomes a critical task for the senior army commander during this stage.

FIGURE 6-9. STAGE V (Decisive Operations) Considerations


During the previous stage. the ARFOR commander completes the Army contribution toward attaining those operational objectives to resolve the crisis that instigated the contingency operation. Postconflict operations secure the strategic objectives. Planning for postconflict operations must be an integral part of the overall Army plan, which is revised continually as the conclusion of hostilities approaches. The objective of this planning is to transition operations with minimum confusion to either the host nation, an international body, or DOS. The Army contribution to postconflict operations may include--

  • Controlling prisoners.

  • Handling refugees.

  • Arranging for civilian contractors to clear minefields and conduct demining operations.

  • Destroying explosive ordnance.

  • Conducting civil affairs.

Simultaneously, units prepare for future operations by consolidating, reconstituting, and training. These future operations can range from the resumption of hostilities to redeployment. See Figure 6-10.

Considerations During
Postconflict Operations

The senior ARFOR commander desires overwhelming strength to execute the contingency operation. The mere presence of overwhelming strength is a force multiplier. At the same time, the reduction of collateral damage may be a major constraint during this phase. The ARFOR commander tightly controls the ROW (instructions, artillery position, azimuth-determing system, control measures). Tehse controls are an important part in determing the complexity of postconflict operations.

Consolidation operations begin during this stage. These operations may be more significant long term than actual contingency operations for achieving strategic objectives. Restoration operations consist of a number of activities that have political, economic, or diplomatic impact. Some of these activities include nation assistance, CA, and infrastructure repair. The ARFOR commander carefully sequences these operations into the theater CINC's continuing major operation or campaign.

The ARFOR commander may focus on tactical-level operations during the contingency. However, he must maintain a larger perspective, looking beyond the relatively short-term contingency operation. The contingency operation alone seldom achieves the desired end state. The ARFOR commander must recognize how the contingency operation fits into the long-term strategic objectives of the theater CINC.

During the operations stage, the ARFOR commander responsible for the operational-level perspective may change. The JTF may have achieved its primary mission and the CINC may disestablish it. The senior army commander responsible for executing the contingency operation may redeploy with the main body of forces. A modified C² structure may replace the JTF, the CINC may assume direct control, or the theater may revert to its normal peacetime organization. Regardless, the Army's operational- level perspective must pass to the new senior ARFOR commander to continue with postconflict operations. The new commander continues with postconflict operations and completes redeployment of the contingency force.

As part of postconflict operations, the ARFOR commander conducts operations to stabilize the situation. These include internal security, law and order, PSYOP, and CA programs. PSYOP emphasize the purpose fo the US actions and balance any negative residual effects of the contingency operation.



During this stage, the force prepares for future operations. The force may be redeployed to its home station, to a staging base, or to another theater for subsequent operations. In addition, the ARFOR commander reconstitutes his force, within his capabilities, to ensure flexibility for future operations. (See Figure 6-11).

Reconstitution of the force requires an extensive reallocation of resources and skills. The LSE may play a major role during reconstitution operations. The LSE must be able to receive, identify, and determine disposition; maintain accountability; store, prepare for shipment, and arrange for movement of Class I, II, III (package) IV, V, VI, VII, and IX items to the port or a theater stockage location. Some of these functions can be performed by augmenting LSE personnel with TOE units or contractor personnel. Items requiring repair may be repaired by the LSE or a contractor within the theater or sent out of the theater to a repair facility. The theater materiel management center identifies the items requiring redistribution instructions.

Considerations During
Redevelopment and Restitution

The ARFOR commander controls the flow of Army assets out to the operations area. There is a natural inclination to redeploy all forces out of the areas as quickly as possible upon the completion of tactical operations. This may be the CINC's stated objective, but it has diplomatic ramifications. The ARFOR commander must find a way to balance this objective with his requirement to conduct restoration operations. He does this by gaining additional guidance from the JFC, who in turn reconciles objectives with the CINC.

The ARFOR commander may change several times as the Army forces are reduced and their composition changes. However, the ARFOR commander remains the JFC's primary advisor on Army matters. Once the JTF achieves the CINC's designated objectives, the CINC dissolves it. Then, the CINC's ASCC assumes the remaining Army missions.

FIGURE 6-11. STAGE VII (Redeployment and Reconstitution) CONSIDERATIONS


Demobilization is the process by which units, individuals, and materiel transfer from active to reserve status. Demobilization is accomplished in five phases: planning actions, area of operations actions, transit actions, demobilization station/center actions, and home station/home-of-record actions. As with mobilization, demobilization is discussed in detail in FM 100-17.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list